Introductions, Confessions, and Thank Yous

Before I jump into things, let me briefly introduce myself:  my name is Laura Stiles, and I’m a Creative Writing, Professional Writing double major at Carnegie Mellon University.  If all goes well (meaning, if I don’t die from exhaustion by the time I’m finished here…), I’ll be graduating in 2014.  This summer, I’m living in Pittsburgh and interning at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts with the help of a Dozzi scholarship I was awarded through Carnegie Mellon, which is really what this blog is about.

Also, just so you get an idea of who I am aside from all the professional-sounding stuff, other things you might like to know about me…I like singing along to music on long car rides, playing in lakes and creeks, and reading.  Also cute animals, soft blankets, cinnamon rolls, and sushi.

…Clearly it doesn’t take much to keep me happy…

So the blog finally begins!

But before I go any further, I must confess that I’m pretty proud of myself for creating this blog in the summer time.  I firmly maintain that at the end of every school year, after that final test or paper has been completed and it is suddenly possible to crash into bed and just be DONE, whatever motivating power that somehow keeps a person working throughout an entire semester seeps out of his or her brain through the ears and is rapidly melted away by dreams of campfires and s’mores, lemonade and locust drones, eighty degree temperatures, and firefly glows in the evenings.

Depending on how nice the weather is, I think it takes a lot to overcome these challenges.  So I’m happy I was able to create this blog for you all.  Huzzah!!

Also, I must confess that it took me awhile to pluck up the guts to create this blog in the first place.  Why?  To put it simply, I’m really afraid of being boring.  Every time I sit down to write, I can’t help thinking:  Who really wants to read about a twenty year old in college who happens to be an intern for the summer?

I’ve always been perplexed by the contradiction in our society about the interest vs. non-interest in other people’s lives.  On the one hand, there is the blatant “I don’t care” attitude:  the t-shirts with “For a Minute There You Bored Me to Death” or similar phrases on them, the cynical ecards on, and the frustrating scenario of someone taking forever to tell you a long, detailed story from his or her life.  But on the other hand, there’s the obsession with celebrities and “reality” television, people spending hours blogging or reading blogs, people spending hours on Facebook, people talking on the phone or getting together with friends to gossip, people reading and getting lost in stories all the time.

The only thing I’ve been able to come up with is that if you want to be on the “interesting” rather than “boring” end of the spectrum, it really helps to be rich or famous.  And if you’re not, then you’d better be entertaining, insightful, or relatable—preferably all three at once.  So since I am neither rich nor famous, I will at least try to make my blog entries entertaining, insightful, and relatable for everyone.  And I hope that I can provide some helpful information for other college students trying to navigate this tricky territory of “I need to get an internship so I can get experience, but I need experience to get an internship.”  I found it to be a very frustrating double bind, and I expect this is a frustrating problem for others as well.

So in my next entry, (which I hope will be soon), I’ll talk about the very cool place where I’m doing my internship this summer:  The Hillman Center for Performing Arts (  A HUGE thank you to everyone there, and especially to my boss Sarah York Rubin, who has been very, very helpful to me.  And even if she can’t pay her interns, she always makes sure we have enough delicious food to eat.  Thank you, Sarah.<3

Signing off until then,

I love anyone who takes the time to read this,



Before I end this first, long-awaited, introductory entry, a shout out to Carnegie Mellon and the Career and Professional Development Center, who asked me to write this blog in the first place.  The Career Center (my career counselor Ray Mizgorski in particular) has been incredibly helpful to me over the past year, helping me explore career opportunities, giving me resources to look for internships, helping me polish up my resume, and giving me advice about interviews.  And once I did land my internship, it was Ray who told me about the Dozzi scholarship, one of which I was lucky enough to receive and which has been an immense help to me this summer.  A HUGE thank you to the Dozzi family for helping out unpaid Pittsburgh summer interns!  Thank you thank you thank you!!  (I’m nothing if not grateful.)